Computer 3d mesh of a woman in front of lines of binary code.

Our research areas Information behaviour

We're home to one of the largest and leading Information Behaviour research group in the UK.Information Behaviour looks at how and why people engage and interact (or not) with information, and associated information seeking processes and challenges. We're particularly interested in the information behaviours of disadvantaged groups in the health and wellbeing context:

  • how individuals engage with information 
  • the challenges and issues experienced
  • affective factors 
  • the design implications, both physical and digital, for future interactive information systems and services

Current research projects

Current research students are investigating topics such as refugee information seeking behaviour and social inclusion, relationships between information behaviour and social capital, the information behaviour of pregnant women in rural Nigeria, and the early manifestation of child information poverty. Further recent studies include the impact of homelessness on access to the informational mainstream, the use of search engines in times of grieving and bereavement, online decision-making, health information seeking of black and ethnic minority groups, and escaping information poverty through Internet Newsgroups. 

Our partners

We are working with a number of partners including the National Health Service Scotland and BAE Systems. Beyond research project collaboration several of our group members sit on external advisory boards and panels as information behaviour experts, and host regular knowledge exchange events for the profession and wider community.

Latest publications

Given, L. M., Winkler, D. C., Willson, R., Davidson, D., Danby, S., and Thorpe, K. (2017). Watching young children ‘play’ with information technology: everyday life information seeking in the home. Library & Information Science Research. In press.

Tinto, F., and Ruthven, I. (2016) Sharing "Happy" Information, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 67 (10), 2329-2343. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asi.23581

Buchanan, S., Tuckerman, L.  (2016)  The Information Behaviours of Disadvantaged and Disengaged Adolescents.  Journal of Documentation, 72 (3), 527-548.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JD-05-2015-0060

Loudon, K., Buchanan, S., and Ruthven, I  (2016) The Everyday Life Information Seeking Behaviours of First-Time Mothers.  Journal of Documentation, 72(1), 24-46.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JD-06-2014-0080